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Putting High Speed Rail into Perspective

Shirley Ybarra
March 15, 2011, 10:23pm

An article caught my eye entitled, “Trains to Increase Speed Through Randolph County”  (Randolph County is in North Carolina.)

 

Considering all of the articles and commentary about high speed rail, it is worth thinking about this article. Typically high speed rail is discussed in terms of passenger rail and speeds at 100-150+ mph or even higher.  In the US, the tracks  that high speed rail is likely to be operated over are owned by the freight railroads and they operate their own  (freight) trains for profit.

 

With that perspective, the article that attracted my attention says;

.

“Norfolk Southern plans to increase the maximum speed of their trains in parts of Randolph County next week.  The changes will increase the speed from nine to 25 mph at eight highway crossings in Randleman and Asheboro.”  

So the real question is how does a high speed passenger train (even if it’s going 50 mph little lone 75 mph or more) fit in to this type of freight rail system?


Shirley Ybarra is Senior Transportation Policy Analyst


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